5 steps for influencing the conversation around renewable energy at work

Here's how you can get your company to commit to switching to 100% renewable energy.

Amy Foyster
November 16, 2021
A group of colleages sitting on couches discussing work.

If you’ve seen news reports about other corporations signing up to the RE100 or making the switch to 100% renewable energy, it might have caused you to question why your own organisation isn’t following suit.

Electricity and electricity generation are Australia’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, so switching to renewable energy is a way for businesses to have a huge impact.

But if you’re not a sustainability professional (and sometimes even then!) it can feel intimidating to try and bring about a change of this scale in your workplace. Making this shift can be relatively easy if your company has simple energy requirements, or it can get complex. You might not be the one that does all the legwork to make the change, but you can be the one to get the conversation started...

Looking for more in-depth information? Access our FREE Renewable Energy Playbook today.

That’s why we’ve come up with five key steps for influencing the conversation around renewable energy at work, based on our experience working with professionals who have already spearheaded a shift to 100% renewable energy in their company.

Step 1: Get smart

Influencing where your company gets its energy from can be a tricky conversation. Your goal is to understand where your company is today, and what might motivate your company to make the switch. Don’t stress, we’re not suggesting you need to become an energy expert or climate scientist, but you should do some research. We suggest learning how businesses source energy and what the current state of play for your company’s energy situation is. This will enable you to ask the right questions of people internally and ultimately figure out what might motivate your company to make the switch.

Step 2: Get help

They say there’s strength in numbers, so once you have the lay of the land, it’s time to find your people. Seeking out other people within your organisation who share your climate concerns and are likely to help you work towards this goal is a good place to start. If your company doesn’t yet have a sustainability or green team, setting one up is a good way to find out who’s on the same page as you.

Once you’ve connected with a few people internally, spend some time brainstorming who the key stakeholders are within the organisation that you’ll need to convince to make the switch. This could be the C-suite, a finance manager, operations teams, board members or anyone with decision making power. Finally, think about what experts or mentors outside of your organisation might be able to support you and make contact with them and ask for help.

Step 3: Build a plan

Now comes the meaty part of the process, starting to build a plan to get your company to commit to and eventually make the switch to renewable energy. At this stage, you and your climate squad will need to be strategic about how to get buy-in from the key stakeholders within your organisation, and this will vary from company to company, depending on the leadership style, culture and size. Spend some time devising a strategic plan that covers exactly how you plan to build a business case, gain approval and then implement your proposed changes.

Step 4: Make the case

Most organisations will require you to put forward a formal business case when you’re proposing major change. The format of a business case will depend on how your organisation makes decisions, but you would normally include information such as the benefits, costs, and risks associated with switching and a pathway to actually achieve it using the research you’ve done to date.

Step 5: Execute the plan

If you’ve made it this far, it hopefully means that your business case has been approved by management and now all that’s left to do is execute your plan and make the switch! Some businesses will want to make their commitment and the news of switching public, as it tends to garner a lot of good publicity, whereas others will focus more on internal engagement with staff. Whatever makes the most sense within your business’ culture and it’s public persona is fine.

And for you personally? Celebrate both the triumph of doing something good for your company and the planet, but also your newly-honed influencing skills!

Do you want more details about each of these steps and what is involved in helping your corporation make the switch to 100% renewable energy? Access our FREE Renewable Energy Playbook today.

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